Could There Be a Treasure in Your Toilet?

The float in your toilet tank that measures the water level is probably made of rubber or plastic. An old one might be metal. But even earlier, tank floats were made of blown glass. And glass being what it is, these floats are kind of rare now. Collector's Weekly tells us all about glass toilet floats in a conversation with antique expert (and Rare Earth keyboard player) Mike Bruner.
“That’s a really beautiful float,” he practically gushes when I ask him about a plain, innocuous-looking float with the words “Patent applied for” embossed on its side. “The glass on that, I just love. It’s very crude, but it’s probably the nicest appearing glass I have.”

I look again. It doesn’t seem all that remarkable to me, but Bruner’s vision is keener than mine. Where I see a boring oblong form, he sees history, and even art. “It’s obviously handmade, and I’d be willing to bet it could date to the 1800s,” he says. “It’s not symmetrical in its shape. It’s just what people who collect glassware want. They want something that tells a story. There’s no doubt that a human being made this thing. It went into a three-piece mold, so it’s definitely a production piece, but a human being blew the glass and snapped off the rod at the end. This thing is full of charisma.”

Have you ever seen a glass float? If I have, I certainly didn't know what it was. Link

(Image credit: Mike Bruner)

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